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Hot baths, hot hand dryers and other heat will NOT kill coronavirus

“The doctors who help with dealing with SARS virus are recommending we use hand dryers or a sauna bath to manage or to prevent this coronavirus,” says a woman in a video circulating on Facebook since 17 March 2020. 

The technical name for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”, or Sars-CoV-2.

The woman in the video introduces herself as Mary Wilson, a lecturer in the health faculty at Koforidua Technical University in Ghana.

She claims that taking a hot bath, breathing in hot steam or using a hand dryer to blow hot air up the nose are effective ways to prevent Covid-19.

“The viruses reside beneath the nose, that is where the sinuses are, and in the throat for a couple of days before they go down into our lungs to infect us,” she says

“So when you do a steam bath, or hot air into the nose, what happens is that you kill the viruses that have been trapped there.”

Could these simple methods prevent Covid-19? We investigated.

‘It can burn you’

The World Health Organization, or WHO, says taking a hot bath will not prevent Covid-19

“Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower,” the WHO says. “Actually, taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you.”

The WHO says hand dryers won’t kill the virus either. 

The agency adds that some remedies may help alleviate the symptoms of Covid-19, but there is no evidence that any current medicine can prevent or cure the disease.

The WHO advises people to take simple precautions to avoid coronavirus infection. 

Wash your hands often with soap and water, keep at least a metre away from other people, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, practice good respiratory hygiene, and seek medical care early if you have symptoms of Covid-19. – Naledi Mashishi


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